Saturday, July 22, 2017

Serve fruits whole and fresh - there's nothing like it.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

Mangosteen. Just demonstrate how to crack the fruit
and pick the soft flesh with the finger.
  Watermelon or pakwan. Serve liberally with style. Bite to the 
rind and spit seeds.   
 Camito or star apple.  Cut cross wise to show how the fruit
 got its name. Scoop with spoon.
Banana, Serve whole "palm".  It's thrilling to pick one of 
your choice, peel, eat, then pick another.    
Sineguelas. A little salt at the corner of the plate is an option. 
Duhat. Just serve the very ripe. Others add salt over the fruit, 
cover it with another plate and shake, then serve. 
 Buko. "Don't accept if seal is broken." That is, the nut must be intact.
 Punch two holes on the soft flesh with straw, one for air to enter as 
you draw in the fresh coco water.  Split empty nut, scoop the flesh 
with spoon and eat it directly sans plate.  
Guava is best when picked from the tree before it is fully
 ripe.  Otherwise the fruit will simply drop to the ground, 
or a bat comes and harvest it in the night.  Green guava 
if not mature will simply go to waste.
Fresh sugarcane cane juice is extracted with a mechanical juicer in a fruit juice stand. While waiting for your order, you can see the process. Don't settle for bottled cane juice; it ferments easily, and it's not good to the stomach. There is no substitute to chewing the cane; it's also good for the teeth and gums.     
 Fresh fruits are packed and chilled for convenience. Here watermelon is cut into desired sizes, packed in plastic and chilled overnight. Carrot sticks, sliced papaya, pineapple chunks, scooped buko, among other fruits, are sold this way in fruit stands in malls and supermarkets. 
Atis (Anona squamosa) The crack widens, the color becomes 
light green. Press and open the fruit, eat with the fingers, 
and spit the seeds like a blowgun.  To kids this is fun.  

Goodbye to kamachili (Pithecolobium dulce). Although it is 
not commercially sold, it is very popular to children on the 
farm and pasture. It's good for diabetic persons. 
Tiesa (Lucuma nervosa) bears plenty of these bright 
colored fruits which drop to the ground when fully 
ripe. Its fruiting season is summer. 
 Dragon fruit.  Slice lengthwise into six or eight pieces. 
Eat with the fingers, peeling it in the process.  
Local and imported fruits

Other fruits grown on the backyard, and in orchards 
  1. Mango
  2. Guyabano
  3. Macopa
  4. Dalandan
  5. Nangka
  6. Avocado
  7. Sampalok
  8. Papaya, solo variety
  9. Balimbing
  10. Strawberry
And many other fruits. Why don't you add to the list?

The art of dressing fresh piña fruit

Don't settle for piña in can. Get the fresh fruit instead and do the preparations yourself. It is actually fun with the family. There is no substitute to fresh fruits. And you can make preserves, too. And superb natural vinegar. You can even plant the top in your garden and raise a hill or two of this most popular tropical fruit - the only edible member of the Bromeliad family.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

Choose the best piña available in your local market, or direct from the farm, and follow the procedure shown in these photographs.

Peeling the fruit after its has been washed, its top and
bottom trimmed. It takes some practice to do it well.

Artistic touch in skinning piña fruit. Can you assocaite
it with an occasion, a queer creature - or simply a decor?

Piña eye remover makes work easy and clean.
Note spiral orientation. It's a local invention made
of alumium tube.

Cut in radial symmetry and serve

The fruit is sliced lengthwise and cut into chunks.
Or it may be served directly on the table - sliced
crosswise, too

Piña chunks cooked with cane syrup as natural
preservative. Note: Black-eye is a result of over
maturity in the field, or effect of drought. The
best fruit is usually served fresh - no blemishes.

Piña preserve is a lucrative cottage industry.
You can also make piña jam, glaze and jelly. Why 

not try dessicated piña, and powdered piña ?

Peelings, eyes, pith - all go into vinegar making.
In six months you have piña natural vinegar.

Were you able to follow the above procedure? Tell us more about this favorite fruit to enrich this article. Our viewers will be very grateful indeed. ~

 Del Monte Pineapple plantation, Bukidnon (Internet)
Flowering stage of pineapple (Internet) 
Ornamental pineapple (Internet)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Environment:: "Sick Home Syndrome" - How can we avoid it?

There is no substitute to good housekeeping. Include the surroundings, specially the garden - which is nature's replica of your home.
Brick House, painting in acrylic, AV Rotor 2002

Dr Abe V Rotor

Are you healthy and happy in your home, or in your work place? If not you may be suffering of sick home syndrome, which is characterized by symptoms of ailments, real and imaginary, lack of pep, mood swings, and the most common one - allergy.

There is one general solution. Make your home, office, work place, or school - as it may be the case - clean and healthy, safe and comfortable. Make it as an extension of nature.

That is why we should adapt measures to insure that the conditions prevailing in our home, and in the place where we work, should be as close as possible to those that are occurring in a pristine environment.

Imagine yourself and your family enjoying a picnic beside a waterfall, or you are with a company hiking along nature's trail in a forest park. Stroll along the beach of white sand. Meet the fresh and cool Siberian wind at sunrise. Take a dip in a natural pool among the trees and rocks. Or simply hang a hammock between trees and rest your body and mind. Commune with nature - its sweet music and quiet moments.

How can we simulate these at home, and in the work place? How many of the following measures can you adapt? Let's find out.

1. Strictly implement No Smoking rule.

2. Specify areas for dining, studying, recreation, and the like.

3. Build home or building according to proper orientation to sunlight, wind, vegetation, and nearby structures.

4. There is no substitute to natural ventilation. Consult a building expert for a new home or when renovating one.

5. Large windows and doors, porch and veranda, unite your dwelling with the natural environment.

6. Install proper air-conditioners and exhaust fans. Compute capacities with the area of the room or hall, the number of people, and nature of their work.

7. Remove any obstruction to free flow and circulation of air supply and return vents.

8. Fix leaks from roof, faucet, windows and clean up water spills and damp places to get rid of vermin and molds.

9. Have a separate area for garbage. Practice segregation. Empty the garbage daily.

10. Unless necessary do not store chemicals, perishable goods, old materials, plastics and the like. Dispose of them when not needed, or keep them far from the building.

11. Separate the workshop area and garage, and keep them away from the residence and office area.

12. Check equipment and supplies – they may be the source of irritating odor and fumes.

13. The kitchen must be kept clean always. Don't keep leftovers. Discard unnecessary materials, such as empty packages and old utensils.

14. Clean walls, ceilings, shelves regularly. So with decors, furniture and appliances.

15. An atrium at the center of the dwelling allows sunlight to enter. A catchment can serve to store rainfall in a pond for the plants and for use in case of fire.

16. Provide pipe-in music conducive to rest or work. A fountain will certainly add quaintness to the interior. Put up a sound barrier if necessary.

17. Trees serve as fence, sound and dust barriers. A row of trees or two will serve as windbreak. Place pleasant smelling plants like eucalyptus and ilang-ilang.

18. Replace rotting wood, fix damp and mossy concrete walls and walk. Remove materials than make one prone to accident.

19. Fix screen of windows and doors. Be sure your dwelling is rodent-free. Have trained pets around to keep rodents away.

20. There is no substitute to good housekeeping. Include the surroundings, specially the garden - which is nature's replica in your home or building. How about a roof top garden?

Lastly, observe any symptom of ailments such as allergy, among residents or workers. They are the "canary bird in a mine." ~

UST-AB DevCom: There is no escape from our high tech world

Assignment: Continue the list as suggested at the end of the lesson.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

Virtually there is no escape from our high tech world.

Imagine life if there were no cell phones, cable TV, video games, malls, hospitals, e-mails, solar watches, MRT/LRT, ATM, and the like.  And if we think about today's processes in making the many products we use everyday - from ballpoint pens to cars - imagine computers and robots at work in place of man.

Scenario: a quart clock awakens you. You switch on the light, tune in the TV or radio, take a bath, pick up the phone, cook breakfast, read the morning paper, dress up, take the elevator, drive the car, etc., etc., etc.  All this is not surprising to those of us who live in urban centers.  

Death lurks in the byproducts of "The Good Life"

But hear this.  The milk you drink is genetically modified (human embryo hormone was injected into the cow to produce more milk),;  the corn flakes you eat comes from Bt corn (corn with a gene of a bacterium - Bacillus thuringiensis); your potato and onion are irradiated for longer shelf life; your lettuce carries a trace of dioxin (the deadliest toxin ever synthesized), your tuna carries a residue of mercury; the microwave emits rays that are not good to health; the paint in your condominium contains lead; plastic deteriorates and you may not know you are absorbing the byproducts; synthetic fabric is the cause of your allergy; there is nitrate (salitre) in corned beef and in tocino; MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) in noodles, aspartame in softdrinks, sulfite in sugar; Potassium Bromate in bread.  And the list goes on, ad infinitum. 

In Time magazine, March 3, 2014, a new research links common chemicals and brain disorders in kids. This is how everyday toxins may affect our kids.

1. Manganese - Found in drinking water, is linked with lower math scores, hyperactivity, impaired motor skills and some drops in intellectual function.

2. Carbonates - Found in pesticides used to kill cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes, and lawn bugs, are linked to defects in brain development.

3. Tetrachloro-ethylene - Found in dry cleaning solvents, is linked to problems in brain development and a higher rate of psychiatric diagnoses. 

4. Polybrominated biphenyl ethers - Found in furniture and toys as a flame retardant is linked with disorders in brain development among kids with higher in utero exposure. (In utero is a Latin term literally meaning "in the womb". In biology, the phrase describes the state of an embryo or fetus.) 

The deleterious by-products of today's science and technology exacerbate the problems of mankind.  Paradoxically, science and technology have not successfully eradicated the ancient scourge of mankind - disease, poverty, and ignorance.

While man may have a grasp of history and his society, he has apparently lost control of his destiny.

 Globalization also takes away our original identities as individual and as a people.  It homogenizes diversity into a common pool, including our independence in belief, thinking and conviction -  and the quaintness of alternative ways of living. 

At this point we would like you to switch your thoughts and focus your attention on the following areas:
  1. Environmental preservation/conservation
  2. Saving the endangered species
  3. Reducing wastage, recycling
  4. Natural medicine, organically grown food
  5. Pollution-free cars
  6. Ecology tourism (eco-tourism)
  7. Model cities like Curitiba, Brazil            Curitiba Botanic Garden
  8. Ban nuclear weapons
  9. Free Willy movie, Fly Away Home, etc
  10. Clean Air Act, stop CFC emission
  11. Zoning, proper land use
  12. Ban cloning, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their products.
This is an open-ended list, and we ask you to continue it and share this lesson with your family and community in a lively and positive discussion.~  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July is Nutrition Month: Simplify Food Preparation - for health, enjoyment and economy

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []

 Simplify Food Preparation

1. FRESHNESS: There's no substitute to freshness - fruits picked from the tree, newly harvested vegetables, newly dressed chicken and slaughtered meat. 

2. CLEANLINESS: free from contamination, healthy source of crops and animals, strict sanitation and quarantine.

3. SIMPLE PREPARATION: broiled, steamed, boiled, blanched, and the like.

4. AVOID PROCESSED PRODUCTS: canned, hammed, pureed, and the like.

5. HOMEMADE: direct choice and preference of recipes, others

Edible fern salad (with red egg, tomato, onion rings and vinegar)

6. ECONOMICAL: less handling, less processing, less advertising.

7. EDUCATIONAL: to children, members of the household and immediate community.

8. PEACE O)F MIND: food security from vetsin (MSG), aspartame, olestra or fatless fat, decaf, enhancers.

9. HEALTH: investment and legacy to children and future generations.

10 PRODUCTIVITY: enjoyment in life and good health = high productivity. 

11. BONDING: with family, friends and neighbors

12: VALUES: free from guilt and fear, fulfillment, and confidence,        

 2. Twin fried eggs over brown rice (onion leaves topping)

 3. Halaan shell soup with sili (pepper) tops (thickened with corn starch)

4. Green corn on the cob (Serve with buko or young coconut juice, or just water)
5. Nangka served whole  
6. Empanada and ukoy (Eating while cooking)
7. Broiled tilapia cum scales (Burnt scale removes fishy taste and smell)
8. Tamales (fish steamed in banana leaves, add tomato, ginger,onion 
and a dash of salt)

9. Paksiw sapatero fish (Just don't overcook)
10. Diningding or bulanglang - the most complete one-dish meal. Right photo: native vegetables: patani, talong, alokong (himbaba-o), ampalaya), ingredients of the original Ilocano pinakbet 

 11. Squash ukoy, with small shrimps.  Serve while still hot.

 12. Fried tahong (green mussel). Be mindful of the Red Tide Warning of the DOH.
13. A choice of plain rice and arroz valenciana
14. Sinangag rice ideal for breakfast (mold of one serving)
15. Tokwa (soybean curd). Also, TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) 
which  looks and tastes like meat, also from soybean) 

16. Nothing is fresher than fruits picked from the tree.  It's an experience you'll enjoy.

17.  Presentation adds quaintness and enjoyment in eating. 

18. Make your own halo-halo for personal taste and economy. 
Use fresh ingredients as much as possible. 

19.  Try exotic food like the favorite dish of Ilocanos known as “jumping salad.”
Newly caught juvenile shrimps, promptly dressed with tomato or calamansi and a dash of salt. Pick them up individually by the head, put it into the mouth in reverse, severe the rostrum (unicorn) and antennae with the teeth to avoid injury. It is the kicking in the mouth that gives this unique dish its name jumping salad. (Photo acknowledgement, Internet)

20. Don't miss malunggay (Moringa oleifera) in list of your regular recipes.  Malunggay pod is cooked into bulanglang or diningding. To thicken the soup add kamote (sweet potato) tuber sliced or in cubes, which is first cooked and softened to paste. The cleaned pod is then added, followed by sahog, say broiled or fried tilapia, or pork, as may be preferred.What nutrients do we get from malunggay?

Here is a comparison of the food value of the fresh leaves versus green pods, in percent. (Marañon and Hermano, Useful Plants of the Philippines)

• Proteins - 7.30 vs 7.29
• Carbohydrates - 11.04 vs 2.61
• Fats - 1.10 vs 0.16
• Crude Fiber - 1.75 vs 0.76
• Phosphorus (P2 O 5) - 0.24 vs 0.19
 Calcium (CaO) - 0.72 vs 0.01
• Iron (Fe2O3) - 0.108 vs 0.0005

NOTE: This is a consolidated article previously entered in this blog in observance of World Food Day October 16, 2015 and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2015. ~